Are you ready to run your first Facebook ad campaign? Facebook’s advertising platform is a powerful, effective, and cost-efficient advertising tool, and something that’s accessible and on-budget for even the smallest of businesses. Though it’s also easy to make some big mistakes if you don’t know what you are doing when setting up your first Facebook ad. So let’s start at the beginning and make sure that you have all your Facebook ad basics covered and essential ad pieces ready to go before you give Facebook ads a try.

7 Things you Need to Run a Facebook Ad

7 Things you Need to Run a Facebook Ad

  1. You will need a Facebook Business Page. You cannot run ads from your personal Facebook Profile. If you don’t already have a Facebook Business Page, you can start here to create one: https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/
  2. You will need to create a Facebook Ads account. Although Facebook ads can only be run with a Facebook Business Page, Facebook Ads accounts are directly connected to personal Profiles. It is possible to add additional admins to your Facebook Ads account (just like how you can have more than 1 admin on your Business Page), but you, as the owner of the business, need to first setup your Ads account with your name, address, and credit card information. Visit the Ad Account Settings area inside Ads Manager, and click on the Ad Accounts and Payment Settings tabs to complete the required fields. The Ads Accounts tab is where you put your name, business name, and address info (and where you can add other people to help you manage your Facebook ads), and the Payment Settings area is where you put your credit card info and set an account spending limit, if desired. Facebook Ads Manager Ad Account Settings
  3. Your Facebook pixel setup and installed on your website. Your Facebook pixel is a free line of code that’s generated inside your Ads Manager. Once placed on your website, it tracks and accumulates people who visit your website while being logged into Facebook. You can create Facebook custom audiences of those website visitors, and later advertise to them. You won’t necessarily be needing your pixel or adding to your pixel with every ad campaign you run, but whether or not you need it for a specific Facebook ads campaign (like a conversion ad), it’s still invaluable to have on your website so you can keep increasing the number of people in your custom audiences. Visit this blog post to see how to setup your Facebook pixel and website custom audience.
  4. A single goal for your Facebook ad. What is the desired action you want Facebook users to take when they see your ad? Watch a video? Engage with your giveaway post? Click a link to read your recent blog post? Or perhaps opt-in to your free download? It’s important to identify a single action or goal you want people to take on your ad, and then select the correct type of Facebook ad (Facebook calls it choosing your marketing objective) as the first step in building you ad. Facebook knows a lot about its user behavior, and it shows your ad to people within your targeting who also tend to take that type of action (e.g. Facebook users who tend to watch videos on Facebook for your video views ad).
  5. An image or video to use for your Facebook ad’s media. Every Facebook ad has a visual element to it. You can use a single photo, multiple photos, or a video in your ads. If you have an image or video you know you want to use, you will upload them near the end of the campaign build process. If it has already been posted on your Facebook Business Page, you have the option to choose from images uploaded there. And if you don’t have an image, you can search through the free stock photos Facebook offers at the same part of the campaign build process.
  6. A link or lead form*. This doesn’t apply to every type of Facebook ad you may run, but if you are sending people to a site off Facebook or plan to use a Facebook lead ad, you’ll need to have a link to a website page or blog post that is aligned with your campaign, or a lead form built and ready to use ahead of building your Facebook ad.
  7. A strong idea on who you want to target with your Facebook ad. Facebook’s targeting options are pretty incredible. In addition to advertising to those warm audiences thanks to your Facebook pixel, you have several demographic and interest targeting options. Read more about Facebook ads targeting options here. You’ll choose your audience targeting early on in the ad build process. Targeting is also the most common place to start with split-testing your ad campaigns.

Once you get the 7 items above all set, you will have what you need to build your first Facebook ad campaign.

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